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Matt Borne

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Matthew "Matt" Wade Osborne (July 27, 1957-June 28, 2013) was an American professional wrestler. Osborne was a second generation wrestler, being son of "Tough" Tony Borne, and was best known as being the first and longest-running wrestler to portray the character of Doink the Clown.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit

Under the ring name Matt Bourne, Osborne debuted on December 6, 1978 and began wrestling for many independent promotions, most prominently for Portland Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, where he was allied with Ted DiBiase and Jim Duggan as a member of the "Rat Pack" faction. While performing on the indies, Osborne competed against Ricky Steamboat at the first WrestleMania in Madison Square Garden.

World Class Championship Wrestling (1986–1987)

In early 1986, Borne joined World Class Championship Wrestling. Upon debuting for WCCW, Borne teamed with Buzz Sawyer to win a one-day tournament to crown new World Tag Team Champions. He would also win the Texas Heavyweight Championship and defended the title at the Christmas Star Wars event against The Iron Sheik.

World Championship Wrestling (1991–1992)

In 1991, Osborne signed with World Championship Wrestling and debuted as Big Josh, an outdoorsman who danced with bears and was friends with Tommy Rich. During his stint with WCW, Osborne won the United States Tag Team Championship with Ron Simmons and the World Six-Man Tag Team Championship with Dustin Rhodes and Tom Zenk. Bourne made his final pay-per-view appearance for the company on May 17, 1992 at the pay-per-view WrestleWar, where he defeated Richard Morton. On the May 23 episode of WorldWide, he made his final appearance with the company as he defeated Tracy Smothers.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1992–1993, 2007)

After leaving WCW in 1992, Osborne debuted for the World Wrestling Federation in late 1992 and began competing in dark matches as himself before becoming Doink the Clown, a villainous clown character that would frequently pull tricks on wrestlers at ringside as well as fans. He would also briefly use the character in United States Wrestling Association in February before returning to WWF television in March. Soon after his televised return, he began feuding with Crush after attacking him with a prosthetic arm on an episode of Superstars of Wrestling, which subsequently resulted in a match at WrestleMania IX. During this match, another Doink (Steve Keirn) came out from under the ring and attacked Crush with another prosthetic arm, allowing the real Doink to pin Crush.

In the spring of 1993, Doink was given the opportunity to enter the King of the Ring tournament, facing Mr. Perfect in the qualifying round. After two time-limit draws, Mr. Perfect defeated Doink in their third match.

Doink would go the next couple of months mostly wrestling enhancement talents until Jerry Lawler hired Doink to wrestle Bret Hart at SummerSlam. After Doink lost to Hart, Lawler betrayed Doink, resulting in Doink becoming a fan favorite. Shortly afterward, however, Osborne was fired for re-occurring drug abuses, which he has since overcome. Following his departure, Doink was played by other wrestlers.

On December 10, 2007, Osborne reprised the role of Doink at Raw's 15th Anniversary as he took part in a Legends Battle Royal.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1994)

Following his departure from the WWF, Borne appeared in Extreme Championship Wrestling for a handful of matches as Doink. However, the fans hated this, as ECW was viewed as an alternative to the WWF and WCW and seeing a gimmick like this made Doink a villain for a completely different reason.

After losing a match to then-World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas, Douglas would go on to criticize Vince McMahon for turning a talented wrestler like Borne into a comic relief character, and claimed that he knew how to bring out Borne's full potential. Borne then changed his ring name to Borne Again, and continued wearing the clown suit, albeit without the wig, wearing a minimal amount of face paint, as well as growing out his hair and beard. After beating his opponents, he would make them dress in clown outfits. However, his tenure with the company was short lived due to personal problems.

Semi–retirement (1994–2013)

Since leaving ECW, Osborne has wrestled on the independent circuit at several reunion shows and for various independent promotion under his Matt Borne ring name. In 2005, at WrestleReunion II Borne participated in an eight-man tag team match alongside Andrew Martin, Steve Corino and The Masked Superstar. However, his team lost to Dusty Rhodes, The Blue Meanie, Tom Prichard and D'Lo Brown. Since then, Osborne has appeared sporadically on the indies. On August 8, 2010 Borne won the Wrecking Ball Wrestling Championship.


Osborne was found dead on June 28, 2013, in the Plano, Texas house he shared with his business partner. Though no weapons were found near his body, and police have said the death appears accidental, they launched a precautionary homicide investigation. The autopsy revealed Osborne had died of an accidental overdose of morphine and hydrocodone. He also suffered from heart disease, which had been a contributing factor in his death.

In wrestling

Wrestlers trained by Borne

Championships and accomplishments

  • International Wrestling Association
    • IWA United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Portland Wrestling
    • Portland Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Brian Cox
  • Texas Wrestling Federation
    • TWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • United States Wrestling League
    • USWL Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Wrecking Ball Wrestling
    • WBW Championship (1 time)

See also

External links

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